Here are the packages I
currently offer. I can run these as whole days, half days and twilights. I can also run
them as workshop sessions with children so that staff can see the techniques 'in action'.
I'm happy to tailor any of the titles to your own particular requirements.
New! Developing Self-Confidence in Young
Writers. Issues of how to motivate reluctant
writers, low levels of literacy and the fact that the technicalities of writing often
dont stick with children are ongoing problems in many if not most
primary classrooms. Low self-confidence and low self-esteem among children (not just in
their writing) inhibit learning greatly and become especially acute in an educational
system that increasingly builds competition and comparison into the learning process.
Children with little confidence and the inability to assess their own achievements are
less likely to enjoy their school experience or fulfil their potential as learners.
During the day you will learn a range of practical techniques
and versatile activities for helping children to become more confident writers, which in
turn will make writing more enjoyable for them. As young writers become more using the
how-to strategies on offer for improving their work, their self-esteem as well as the
quality of their writing are likely to rise.
The presentation is divided into several sections
- Creating the Writing Environment. Building the classroom ethos
where more confident writing can take place.
- Dealing with Feelings. Showing how children can work directly on
negative thoughts, feelings and limiting beliefs within the context of writing quickly,
safely and effectively.
- Some Writing Games. Enjoyable activities designed to motivate even
highly reluctant writers to have a go. These games can be used across a wide
age and ability range and are underpinned by a number of core thinking skills.
- Practice Pieces. Showing how presenting children with pieces of
text containing deliberate errors and anomalies will sharpen up their editing skills while
avoiding the problem of them feeling negatively judged. Bespoke pieces of writing for
editing purposes can be focussed on any areas of writing to support your ongoing
programmes of work in literacy.
- A Love of Language. Exploring the aesthetic qualities of writing
spoken aloud. This section touches upon euphony (pleasing sounds), rhythm and
flow in language, phonemes and physiology (supporting the teaching of
synthetic phonics), and wordplay, including how to use nonsense words creatively!
- Storytelling Skills. Touching upon the importance of teaching
children how to tell stories as a way of developing their communication and interpersonal
The presentation is supported by a resource CD of extensive guidance notes,
templates and activity sheets.
- Inspiring Writing. This is a kind of
'pick of the pops' from my other workshops, containing over 25 ideas for showing young
writers how to generate, organise and refine their ideas.
This workshop explores how you can cultivate poetical thinking in your pupils
(as opposed to just looking at forms of verse). We look at multisensory thinking, the
elements of creativity including making connections and multiple perspective, metaphorical
thinking, plus a range of easily accessible poetical structures. The workshop is based on
my book Countdown to Poetry Writing
- The 'Mysteries Technique'
for developing a range of writing forms (Mysteries presents pieces of information on
scraps of paper and can be used for storymaking, journalistic writing, constructing
arguments, exploring social issues, developing scientific thinking etc).
- Picture Exploration,
which uses visual stimulus to develop over twenty thinking skills in children. The usual
outcome is creative writing, but the underpinning thinking can be used virtually right
across the subject range.
- Story Strands.
This uses sequences of simple images to help children develop their ideas, beginning with
word-level work right up to whole story planning. Based on my book Developing Literacy
and Creative Writing Through Storymaking.
- Kapow! Using the
structure of comic book pages as a 'visual analogue' to help children structure their own
writing. I've co-authored a book on these techniques with my friend Tony. We
normally co-present a Kapow day, but
to reduce costs either of us can present the session by ourselves.
- But Why? Introducing P4C into
Your School. Philosophy for Children is gaining in popularity in schools.
This course covers the basics of what philosophy is, its educational benefits, and the
pedagogy and protocols of running P4C sessions in the classroom. The course is based on my
collaboration with Sara Stanley in creating the But Why resource for P4C plus the training
I've done (as a student, levels 1 & 2)) with SAPERE - http://www.sapere.org.uk/. Note that I'm not an
accredited P4C trainer, which is why my session covers only the basics - a 'taster' for
those schools interested in incorporating philosophical thinking into their curriculum.
- If you were looking for a broader context than creative
writing, I can offer
- Boosting Creativity in the
Classroom. This presents some techniques from each of the above workshops
but with a broader base than creative writing. The session is based on a number of books
on thinking and creativity that Ive had published.
- PeopleWyse: Coaching Emotional
Intelligence in the Classroom. This course shows teachers how to cultivate
life coaching techniques with children. The aim is to make young people more emotionally
resourceful, independent and creative thinkers. The course is based on the book of the
same name, which I co-authored with my friend Simon Percival. We usually co-facilitate the
day, but to reduce costs either of us can present the session by ourselves.